Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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FHDA foundation votes to divest fossil fuels

Responding to a campaign by students and citing the community college district’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board of Directors voted to discontinue direct investments in fossil fuel companies and minimize investments in comingled assets that include such companies.

The board set a deadline of June 30 to divest companies with the largest holdings of unburned carbon reserves as determined by Fossil Free’s Carbon Tracker of the Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies.

The unanimous Oct. 23 vote makes the Foothill-De Anza Foundation the first community college foundation in the nation to commit to divesting from fossil fuels, according to Jamie Henn, communications director for 350.org, a leader in the national divestment movement.

Board President Kathleen Santora said divesting matches the values of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and its history of leadership in green building, resource conservation and clean energy use.

“Our colleges support environmental stability, so this already is a shared value of our community,” Santora said. “Credit goes to De Anza students for raising our awareness by identifying ways the foundation can act in a more environmentally responsible manner. We appreciate the opportunity to learn from our students.”

Foundation treasurer Martin Neiman said he doesn’t expect the changes to have a significant financial effect on the foundation’s investment returns. In fact, he said, divestment advocates make a case that in the long term, divesting may be a wise investment strategy.

As of this month, the foundation’s portfolio was valued at approximately $33 million, with fossil-fuel companies accounting for approximately 1 percent.

The students’ divestment campaign grew out of a fall 2012 political science class in which they were challenged to apply citizen advocacy and organizing skills toward the solution of an environmental problem. Organized by a handful of students, the resulting campaign gathered support across the campus and won endorsements from the student governments at both colleges.

“As an institution invested in future generations and our local community, we feel strongly that divestment is the next step in helping to create the world that we want to live in,’’ De Anza student Karla X. Navarro said in an August presentation to the foundation board.

Other students addressed the scientific evidence linking the burning of fossil fuels to melting Arctic ice, rising acidity in the oceans and intensifying floods and droughts.

Students took action after learning more about the climate crisis and how it affects people and the environment, explained Karen Quigley, one of the student organizers.

“The more you learn,’’ she said, “the more difficult it is not to do anything.”

Santora and Neiman said foundation board members were impressed with the students’ presentation and the quality of their research.

The Foothill-De Anza Foundation joins six other colleges and universities and more than 20 cities and counties that have made divestment commitments, according to Henn. Fossil Free campaigns are now underway at more than 300 colleges and universities and in 100 cities and multiple states across the country to encourage divestment from 200 fossil-fuel companies that control the majority of the world’s carbon reserves.

For more information, visit gofossilfree.org/commitments.

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